Saturday, January 16, 2021

2020 Planning....How'd that Go?

Remember back in a more innocent time when I made plans for 2020, prompted by a link-up party? I had planned to revisit this every quarter but haven't posted anything since April. Just for fun, let's take a little look.

1. Quilt the Nocturne Star Quilt. Um, no. But it is basted.
And I'm pretty sure this is going to be my next big project to tackle once my machine gets back from being serviced and Troy finishes the adapter so I can uses cones of thread. So stayed tuned.

2. A wall hanging from a block I made in a class with Pat Sloan. I added the borders to the block and got it mostly quilted.
This was an adventure in finding and piecing together fabric to match the other wall hanging I had made years ago.

3. Sashing my Lucy Boston blocks. I had 24 done at the beginning of the year and now have 51 out of 56 done. Here's the last one I finished:
By "sashing" the block, I mean adding
the grey honeycombs around the outside
My goal is to finish by the end of the month (that will be three years since I started). That is going to be a push.

The goal also mentioned starting on the connecting crosses and I have done that. Here are a couple:
I probably don't have half of them done yet, but I think I'm getting close to that. I can sew together one of these in about an hour.

4. Finish my Joy to the World quilt top. That was done at the last update in April.

5. Start a quilt with my "antique red" fabrics. Not started. But I pulled out all the fabrics I had assembled and took out a few that really didn't go. I picked the order I would put them in for a Boston Commons quilt.
I still want to make this one but am not in a hurry to start it.

6. Make a cashmere memory blanket for a friend. This also was already done by the April post.

7. Calligraphy. I didn't do the drills with the big brush pen as I suggested I could in the April post, but I have continued lettering. Mostly a lot of decorated envelopes.

This would be one of my fancier ones:
And I was proud of this circle design:
I enjoy fitting words into shapes.

For Christmas, I did a lot of hand lettered envelopes:
and Christmas trees:

I made some personalized cards in the spring with floral initials:
Pretty much every project and design is still inspired by the Happy Ever Crafter (on youtube and Instagram).

8. Skating more. As I reported in April, I went twice in January and that's it. I haven't been this winter yet (Covid) but hope to go soon again. The outdoor rinks are opened with precautions.

9. Take a trip with Troy to celebrate our 20th anniversary (in September). Um, no. You know why.
I got out my wedding dress and put Troy in a suit and took some pictures in our yard.

10. Pray more: still going. I had a daily Lectio Divina practice until the summer and then it dropped off. I'm averaging a couple times a week now and that seems like a good amount. Last week, my church started a scripture series where we're reading a prayer from scripture and then doing a relevant prayer practice. The series goes up to Lent and I hope to keep up with that. (Not that I did in the first week we just finished!)

I'm not worried about evaluating whether I won or lost in meeting these goals, but I was interested in reviewing them after the end of the year.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

A Christmas Gift

I made exactly one Christmas gift this year. I was spending Christmas day with one of my sisters and she had told me about looking for a case for her circular needles. So the week before Christmas, I looked for a pattern and found one that looked like it would work. (This one from BumpyCrafts on Etsy.)

I went through my fabrics and pulled out some fat quarters I thought my sister would like and would go together.
They might not meet everyone's definition of "go together" but I liked the common oranges, purples and greens.

Following the pattern, I made several "pages" with pockets for the needles.
I spent a lot of effort to make sure the orange circles lined up across the pages, only to realize later that the large pocket on top makes it considerably less important.

I deliberately rounded the corners of the pages as well. You can never get a truly crisp square corner, so I traced the curve of a spool I had beside the machine to make the curves consistent.
The needles simply slide into the pockets.
I thought about making a place where she could write the needle size on the pocket but didn't do the work to make that happen. As an alternative, she can slide a card with the information into the pocket if she wants.
The pattern has instructions for a snap closure, but I used a button and elastic. (Something I had on hand.)
I stacked two buttons on top of each other. The smaller one underneath makes room for the elastic to nest comfortably under the big button.
Using a button with a shank would have worked too but I didn't have one I liked for this project.

As I sewed on the buttons, I went through a smaller button on the back to keep the stitches from ripping through the fabric and because I thought it was a neater finish than the thread by itself.
Here's a top view where you can see the different pages:
The pattern called for a flannel lining to give more structure, but I used cotton batting scraps that I had on hand.

A finishing detail I added was some quilting on the cover before I assembled the pages.
Just a few highlights around the flower petals.

It was a fun project to make in a day or two. I hope it functions well.

May I suggest?

I Say! or at least I did once...